As the NFT (Non-Fungible Token) market continues to grow, it’s time to start looking at all the opportunities it has to offer. Lots of crypto games utilize NFTs in their systems, but some existing popular titles could also make big waves in the NFT space. One of the main franchises often mentioned as having great potential is Pokemon NFTs.
A lot of NFTs offer a collection of different avatars or monsters, such as some NFT games which style their gameplay after Pokemon. These are some of the popular NFT games. This naturally makes NFTs a perfect fit for Pokemon. While Pokemon NFTs are occasionally shared, there’s some confusion on if there are real Pokémon NFTs or not. This is what you need to know about them.
Are There Pokemon NFTs?
NFTs are an exciting new area. A growing number of people are getting into NFT trading and trying to make money with NFTs. However, there’s also a lack of clarity in some places. Pokémon NFTs or projects that claim to be official pop up pretty frequently, but none of them are official. There aren’t any real Pokemon NFTs.
This isn’t a problem exclusive to NFTs. Crypto in general has a bit of a grey area with copyright which has gotten even worse with NFTs. Pokemon copyrighted phrases have even been used for the name of alt-coins, all without any official backing. Often developers behind these copyright-infringing projects hide behind a DIO or decentralized organization structure, but they can be shut down any minute. These kinds of projects have no ties to Pokemon and should be avoided. Nintendo isn’t exactly known for going easy on copyright infringement, more for hounding down even non-profit fan projects if they learn about them.
The Pokemon NFTs that occasionally get shared are entirely unsanctioned. Buying any NFT with unlicenced characters in it is always a gamble. You just don’t know how the rights holders will react. While NFTs are hosted on the blockchain, the link and image that the token connects too is always liable to change. There aren’t any official Pokemon NFTs.
How to Spot Scam Pokemon NFTs
There aren’t any Pokemon NFTs available at the moment, but lots of people often claim to be selling them. When it comes to spotting scams you’ve really just got to use some common sense. Current NFT marketplaces like OpenSea essentially don’t do any verification on sellers. Anyone can claim to be selling anything. If you’re going to buy a Pokémon NFT, check their official sources. Only take the news off of their verified accounts which you can find with the blue checkmark, other accounts are imposters.
NFTs can cost quite a bit of money. It’s always wise to do a little research and make sure you’re not just taking an anonymous listing on a crypto site at its word for being the representation of the biggest gaming franchise around. Platforms like OpenSea require no verification and you can sell images without giving them any personal details. This means there’s plenty of imposters on this platform.
If you spot an NFT featuring an actual Pokemon, it’s probably best just to move on! If you buy it and then it turns out to be fake, you’re not getting what you paid for and might struggle to resell it in the future.
Pokémon NFTs: What They Are
NFT, meaning Non-Fungible Token, is a unique digital asset. It is a digital token that is on the blockchain, existing as a unique token that there is only one of. This adds some scarcity and that’s where a lot of the value comes from. These assets can range from simple cards or pictures to digital art and possibly Pokemon.
Pokémon has been widely popular since its launch in the 90s. The game has become a cultural phenonium, stretching out to films, anime, card games, and even esports beyond its initial RPGs. The Pokémon universe has also expanded to include more than 1,000 different types of Pokémon. The collectable nature of all these different creatures is part of the appeal for the games. You need to trade with friends if you want to catch them all. Naturally, this sense of scarcity is partially why so many think Pokemon would work well with NFTs.
Pokemon NFTs could work in a few different ways. They could be actual collectables that fans can buy like merchandise for the games, similar to the Funko Pop NFTs. However, there’s also potential for a Pokemon-style game to attach NFT tokens to each monster in-game, to get the technology involved with actual gameplay.
Why Pokémon NFTs
Pokémon has been one of the most popular brands globally for over a generation. From their origin to the various spin-offs and sequels, Pokémon has remained a cultural phenomenon. As an NFT, Pokémon has plenty of elements that make it a great fit such as its rarity.
The NBA (National Basketball Association) has also already proven that the market for collectable items is enormous. With the various series that they’ve worked on, they’ve been able to give collectors the ability to collect player cards with different seasons and moments. This has opened up possibilities for several games and esports NFTs.
With Pokémon NFTs, they could give collectors the ability to collect different types of Pokémon, which would allow them to continue to grow and maintain a global market. Pokémon is already widely embraced by digital natives. Its unique characteristics, such as its non-fungible nature, make it a digital asset that can be used without intermediaries. With varying rarity levels, players could have access to different types of Pokémon.
Are Official Pokemon NFTs Coming Soon?
At the moment, there aren’t any official Pokemon NFTs. However, that could change in the future. Fans have reason to expect something to come in the future involving the blockchain and Pokemon.
Eagle-eyed fans spotted a new job listing from the Pokemon Company recently. They were hiring up for those with expertise in Web3 and gaming. They were specifically hoping to find new employees who could help them with this growing area.
The roles being hired weren’t for Game Freak, so it likely isn’t actual development staff. Instead, it’s the side of the company focused on merchandise which is looking into Web3 so this is likely won’t make Pokemon itself into one of the best NFT games anytime soon.
A few job listings are no guarantee that we’ll see some NFTs ever though. The Pokemon company could be exploring getting into NFTs in the future, but they might decide against it depending on how the market develops. We’ll just have to wait and see how these Pokemon NFTs develop and if anything official ever comes.
Where to Find NFTs Inspired by Pokemon
While there aren’t any Pokemon NFTs that are officially licenced, there are plenty that are inspired by NFTs. Looking around on OpenSea you can easily find Pokémon-like collections.
Some of the best NFT games also offer Pokemon-like mechanics, but with each monster as an NFT with added scarcity. These NFTs inspired by Pokemon work pretty well, although they obviously don’t quite have the draw of actual official Pokemon NFTs.
You can NFTs inspired by Pokemon on most of the major NFT marketplaces. Since they shouldn’t be using copyrighted words like Pokemon though, it might be best to search for monster focused projects instead.
Should the Pokemon Company Create NFTs?
When discussing NFTs in gaming Pokemon is often one that gets brought up. For many, it seems like a perfect fit. These are a few reasons why some think Pokemon NFTs would work great.
The first is the actual gameplay of the titles. Collecting monsters is a perfect fit for NFTs. While NFTs at the moment are largely JPEGs backed by a smart contract, NFT gaming is a more innovative area. Other developers are working on projects that allow you to trade Pokemon-like creatures captured in-game as NFTs. This would allow players to earn as they play Pokemon if they are integrated into mainline games in a similar way. One similar example is Axie Infinty, a success story in NFT Gaming focused on collecting monsters.
Another selling point would be the sheer popularity of Pokemon. Pokemon is one of the most valuable media franchises in the world and it has an in-built audience. For those looking for wider markets for NFTs, this would be a perfect fit. It would likely generate plenty of revenue for Game Freak, along with players who are trading NFTs. Game Freak would definitely benefit from NFTs, but there are some caveats here.
Problems with Pokemon NFTs
Pokemon NFTs do feel like a perfect fit, but there’s also some major downsides here too. The first would be with the integration of NFTs into Pokemon games themselves. While collecting Pokemon is key to gameplay, making them non-fungible would cause pretty big balancing problems. The balance of a Pokemon game relies on every Pokemon being accessible. Making some of them so rare that players pay decent money for them would upset the natural balance between Pokemon.
Most games have collecting all available Pokemon as a key achievement in gameplay. Making this task require a lot of actual money being spent would completely change the nature of the game. It would render the main task of ‘catching em all’ completely inaccessible to the actual target audience of Pokemon. The esports scene for Pokemon would also suffer, with the meta becoming slanted by what Pokemon are actually easily accessible. This is sometimes an issue with other games. Although, creative solutions like Axie Infinity breeding could get around it.
None of these criticisms apply to using NFTs as a collectible outside of the game. This would be closer to what happens with Pokemon card, as a side business for Game Freak to allow for collecting Pokemon in a different format. Although, even these NFTs are currently controversial. While Game Freak could stand to make a lot from NFTs, they could also alienate a good portion of their fanbase.
Do Fans Want NFTs?
The current reputation for NFTs is pretty fiercely divided. You can find plenty of people who are clamouring for Pokemon NFTs if you look.
However, these are largely coming from people who are already significantly invested into cryptocurrency. Outside of those currently holding crypto, enthusiasm is a bit less palpable.
Numerous game developers have been forced to backtrack from NFT announcements in recent weeks. Although, some newer platforms are going some way to address concerns like environmental impact. NFTs are still pretty early, so there may be time for non-crypto players to be won over.
At the moment though, an NFT release from a game dev is rarely welcomed but the core market. NFT titles like Gods Unchained prove there’s a market for them though. Even if that audience might be pretty different to the normal Pokemon audience.